eurobest: Creativity is worth the risk

The biggest barrier to brand creativity is risk. So, what can we do to overcome it and embrace creativity?
Richard Parkinson, Text100’s Global Creative Director, explains.

The biggest barrier to brand creativity is risk. So, what can we do to overcome it and embrace creativity?
Richard Parkinson, Text100’s Global Creative Director, explains.

For risk averse industries in particular there is an ingrained fear of doing anything different. It’s time to get around the word ”no”, to move away from the status quo, to go against the grain with something ballsy, to take a stance. You get the idea.

  • Would you jump out of a plane?
  • Would you risk going into a client pitch with an idea that doesn’t answer the brief… because you believe it’s right?
  • Risk an undiversified investment portfolio in Venture Capital Trusts? (Yeah, that’s a little out of our wheelhouse too…)

All of this is to get you thinking about how averse you are to risk. Final question:

What’s the biggest barrier to creativity?

Yep, you guessed it.

Risk.

Whenever a risky campaign or strategy is discussed, the same old excuses appear between the creative thought and the company:

“It’s always been done this way”

“We don’t have the budget to change this”

“It’s not something that we do. We have to respect our existing clients”

“What if it goes wrong?”

Businesses, just like people, are willing to take a risk if they believe it’s right.

So you have a big risk averse company centric view on the left, and the creative thought on the far right. Then in between you have a whole world of no. The challenge is not that we’re no longer seen to be creative. It’s that we lose touch with our audience because nothing changes. Our audience’s behaviours are constantly changing, so why shouldn’t we?

So, how do you break out of this world of “no”?

Tip #1: Before you can really challenge the factors which block creativity you need to take a step back and find out what the company truly believes in.

Every successful company came into existence to solve a problem. It had a clear, intrinsic purpose. As companies grow things get more complicated and this purpose becomes less important. Perhaps you could say they stop caring a little bit.

Tip #2: Get back to the original problem that brought the business into existence. Ignite the passion, the entrepreneurial spirit that you started with.

Tip #3: You may say well that original problem no longer applies. But remember that large complex companies still need to answer simple human truths. You just need to find what your question is. What is your purpose?

Tip #4: Purpose is useless unless you activate it. This is not a marketing thing. This applies to your whole company. It is a way of life (in your 9-5 at least).

Tip #5: When you dig deeper, you will find your human truth. And when everyone understands this, saying “yes” isn’t quite as scary.

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